Coffee Gives You…

The Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar – Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2013

 Queensbridge Square, 1A Queens Bridge Street, Southbank

The Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar Sign

He Says

Over the last couple of years, the magicians at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival have been conjuring up various pop-up cafes at Queensbridge Square. This year, they’ve built up the aptly named Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar. It’s been assembled from a bunch of wooden pallets  and shipping creates, with a smattering of coffee plants; very organic. Each day a different darling of the Melbourne Coffee scene serves the coffee, and during the evening a different cocktail bar serves drinks. Simple.

Unfortunately the weather hasn’t really been playing along temperature wise, as mid-30s isn’t really a coffee friendly temperature. The queues in the morning are as deep as you’d expect from a MFWF event, but lunchtime is a great time to sneak down for a coffee.

Coffee Testing and Menu

Inside Bar

The Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar

He Drank?

Although they do offer a rather good looking selection of pastries, I’ve only managed to get there after lunch.  These coffee below is from Proud Mary,  who were serving it up on the Thursday 7th March. My coffee was a single-origin short black from Guatemala, and even with the heat it was one of the best coffees I’ve ever had.

Short Black

Coffee Story

To Conclude

Even with the weather, the Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar is a must see. Be quick, it finishes up on the 17th of March.

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The People’s Choice

The People’s Market

 64 – 68  Stanley street, Collingwood

People's Market Entrance

He Says

As we were sitting out the front of the People’s Market at 11:50am, waiting for it to open, I came to the realisation that we’re getting old. Nobody gets to the People’s Market at 11:50am on a Sunday, they’re all too busy being hungover or still partying from the night before. When the doors finally opened, the only other patrons had at least 2 children and/or a dog. We, however, had no excuse for the hour.

The People’s Market is a collection of pop-up cafes, art galleries, and retail shops in shipping containers in the backstreets of Collingwood. It doesn’t get any cooler than that. The cafés appear to cycle, so on the Sunday we went there was Dona Tona, South Soul Food and the MeatBall Company. I was actually a little disappointed at this as I was hoping to snag myself a sausage from Phat Brats, but I was more than satisfied with what we ended up ordering. There was no shortage of tables at the start, but there was a swell of people once we finished up.

The People’s Market is the perfect place to grab a few lazy beers with friends over an extended afternoon, and you won’t be disappointed with the food on offer. But it’s not really the kind of place you just go to for a bite to eat.


People's Market Interior

She Says

Shipping containers, seats, sun and food. That’s all I need for a good Sunday lunch.  Ok, shipping containers are probably optional on my list of things that make a good time, but they don’t hurt.

I really love the idea of the People’s Market with a rotating calendar of cafes, shops, art exhibitions and music. There’s also just something so cool and Melbourne about all of  hiding out in an old car park in a side street.

The People’s market is open day and night Thursday – Sunday and Wednesdays 5pm – 10pm, but only until April 28 so take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and get yourself down there for a meatball and drink as soon as possible!

South Soul Food

We Ate (Gerard)

I’ve been eating meat since I can remember, so you’d think I’d be able to identity it. Apparently not. What we have below is a pulled pork sandwich, well, what I thought was a pulled pork sandwich. I ordered it, enjoyed it, particularly the BBQ sauce, and I was on my merry way. Fast forward to tonight, when I’m writing the review, and imagine the shock I have when I read, from The People’s Market Website , that South Soul Food is vegan. 100% vegan. Not a piece of pork in sight, let alone a pulled piece. It looked like pork, it tasted like pork, but it wasn’t pork. My pulled pork powered mind is absolutely blown.

Vegan pulled pork sandwich with Watermelon

Marg had the potato & chorizo tacos from Dona Tona ($6 each or $20 for 4). They were pretty delicious and just spicy enough. As far as I know they were also made from real meat, but who knows? After the alleged pulled pork incident I don’t know what to believe anymore. It’s like my whole life has been a lie.

Potato & Chorizo Taco
To Conclude

A great place to spend a lazy afternoon (or not quite afternoon).


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Real Focaccia, Flat Out


Shop 5A, 31 Equitable Place, Melbourne

Fugazza External

He Says

Equitable place can be best described as a synthetic Degraves Street for office workers. There aren’t packs of tourists with cameras taking edgy photos of graffiti, and unless you like the cold hard feeling of concrete, it’s not visually pleasing. What it does have going for it though, is a large selection of small cafes which primarily serve the takeaway crowd. It’s hard to distinguish one shop from another and, unless you’ve been recommended a place, you’re probably not going to venture out. See, just like Degraves Street.

Fugazza is nestled towards the Little Collins Street end of the street and if you blink, you’ll certainly miss it. It has a tiny pair of tables out the front, and a cozy bar down the side of the store. The fit out is plain but effective, and does a great job communicating Fugazza’s no-nonsense approach to food. I particularly like the orange logo. You can never have too much orange. Ever.

So, onto the food.

I ate

Fugazza is a traditional name for a focaccia. And these aren’t any of the old, run of the mill dry, cafeteria focaccias that we’re use to. They’re tasty and succulent, and there are a wide variety of fillings to be nestled between the perfectly toasted bread. The photo below is of a Sausage Fugazza, which contains pork sausage, stracchino cheese and caramelised onion, with a side of beetroot ($15). This is by far my favourite, and it’s so full of flavor that I didn’t want to put it down. Or for it to end. Genie, I’ll have one of these instead of a never ending packet of tim-tams.

Sausage Fugazza

Fugazza with Side Salad

Incase you’re after a different kind of pork based sandwhich, there’s the shaved Italian roast pork, roast pumpkin, aged asiago cheese and baby spinach Fugazza ($10 with no salad).

Porchetta Fugazza

The salads are simple but effective, and they seem to cycle through them pretty regularly. They make a great side to your fugazza, but I wouldn’t recommend them as the main.

To conclude

A delicious lunch to add your CBD repertoire. Goods things come in small packages, or in this case between two pieces of expertly flattened bread.

Fugazza on Urbanspoon

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Cross Here

Shawcross Pizza

324 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

He Says

Phat Brats is one of my favourite places in Melbourne. They’ve honed the gourmet sausage to a fine art of delicious cylindrical perfection. Nobody has ever said the phrase, “No, that’s enough, I’ve had too many sausages from Phat Brats”. I’m just such a fan, so you can imagine my excitement when Marg mentioned that the guys from Phat Brats have opened up a pizza restaurant next door, called Shawcross. Bring on the magic.

So we bullied some of Marg’s friends into coming down on a school night, hoping to miss the crazy weekend Brunswick St drunks. Most of the good places on Brunswick St cater exclusively for that drunken market; they aren’t destinations themselves. Shawcross, as Phat Brats before it, is aiming to change that, but without completely alienating that later night market.  You can get pizza by the slice, or you can sit down and enjoy a full sized pizza with your friends.

For me, Shawcross definitely embodies that kind of classy takeaway dude food I love. I enjoyed the pizza, it’s not traditional by any sense, but the combinations were good, and I love the crazy names, like Bigger Than Texas. But, the real problem I have with Shawcross, and I thought about this while I was munching on my pizza, was that I’d just prefer to go to Phat Brats.

She Says

When one of my friends sent me a couple articles about Shawcross Pizza I was pretty darn excited. New York-style pizza from the creators of Phat Brats? That’s a one liner that can make me drool. I really like Phat Brats and I also have a soft spot for pizza, so I didn’t see how anything could go wrong.

We decided to head over with some friends during the week and pizza was all I could think about  at work. I was preparing for a pizzapocalypse. The one time that I actually ate pizza in New York Gerard and I accidentally ordered about 3 kg of the cheese soaked stuff. We went to a pizza place where the size options were “small (serves 1 – 2)” and “large (serve 3 – 4)”. We ordered 2 small pizzas given that Gerard is a tall guy and so can definitely eat 1 – 2 people’s worth of food. Who knew that ‘small’ actually meant about 60cm across? I have never been so intimidated by a couple of plates of dough. Of course trying not to look like we’d accidentally ordered more than twice as much pizza as we could possibly eat we powered through about 1 and a half pizzas. It may have taken us about 2 hours and made me feel so ill at the thought of pizza that I refused to eat any for the next 5 months, but if faced with the same situation again I wouldn’t change a thing. No one likes looking like they don’t know what they’re doing.

What was the point of that story you ask? Not a lot really, other than to say that  my only experience with actual New York pizza left me traumatised. My experience at Shawcross was less traumatising but infinitely more disappointing.

We Ate

At Shawcross you get a choice between made to order pizzas, big slices from the cabinet and some non-pizza options including salads and nachos. While we waited for some of our group to arrive we tried the nachos ($9). They were pretty good, but nothing amazing. Which is fine, it’s not called Shawcross Nachos.



We nominally ordered a pizza each but ended up swapping a lot of slices around. So here, in no particular order, is a random assortment of the pizzas we remembered to take photos of.

First up is the Jimmy the Greek – lamb, olives, mozzarella  cherry tomatos, artichoke hearts, feta and tzatsiki ($16). Phew! That was a long list of toppings, I almost need a break Passiona to recover from typing those out. Unfortunately, if you have a look at the photo below you’ll notice that the volume of toppings didn’t live up to the length of the list. I’m only really going to give one set of comments on the pizzas because the same comments applied to all of them (and were confirmed by a number of friends afterwards). So, here goes… when we visited, the pizzas dough was kind of dry, the toppings were sparse and for the most part the flavour just didn’t live up to expectations. I didn’t take a poll of all 9 people who we ate with, but I speak confidently for at least 4 of them when I say that the pizzas were a bit disappointing.

Jimmy the Greek


We also tried the Notorious P.I.G – pork sausage, bacon, jalapenos, mozzarella, BBQ sauce and onion ($16.50). Full disclosure, I’m not actually entirely sure that this is a photo of the right pizza. Let’s all just pretend that it is.



There was also a Bigger than Texas floating around the table – cajun chicken, BBQ sauce, mozzarella  onion, roquette and sour cream ($16.50).

Bigger than Texas


After pizzas we decided to split a dessert, the sticky icky icky nutella calzone with strawberries and vanilla bean ice cream ($9). We were won over by the name, but could have lived without the actual dish. It was fine, it wasn’t great. We probably would have enjoyed it more if we hadn’t waited a full 45 minutes for it.

Sticky Icky Icky

To conclude

Given the choice between Shawcross and the conveniently located Phat Brats, we’d choose the sausage every time.

Shawcross Pizza on Urbanspoon

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